Alfred Waud (American National Biography)

David Meschutt, "Waud, Alfred R.," American National Biography Online, February 2000, .
At the end of 1861 Waud joined Harper's Weekly, the leading illustrated weekly periodical in the United States, as a special artist and continued to cover the war in Virginia. He made quick rough but accurate drawings in the field, which were then rushed by courier or by mail to the Harper's Weekly home office in New York. A staff of engravers transcribed the rough drawings into finished engravings that were then printed in each edition. This was the only way Waud's drawings and those of the other special artists could be published; photoreproduction was not invented for another generation.

Waud covered every battle fought by the Army of the Potomac from First Manassas in 1861 to Petersburg, Virginia, in 1865. Unlike the war photographers, whose cumbersome equipment prevented them from getting too close to any military engagement, Waud and his fellow special artists got into the thick of combat. Waud also depicted aspects of life in camp, such as the sutler's store and, on one occasion, the wedding of a Union officer.
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